Key Takeaways: Protecting Your Phone Number from Spammers 📵🔒

  • Limit Exposure: Keep your phone number private by removing it from online accounts, including social media and shopping sites. 🌐🚫
  • Understand the Source: Recognize that data brokers and people search sites might have and sell your information. 🕵️‍♂️💼
  • Take Action: Actively remove your personal information from these sites. Start by googling your name, phone number, or address to identify people search sites. 🗑️🔍
  • Research Data Brokers: Find out which data brokers are active in your area, as they won’t show up in regular search results. 🧐🔎
  • Send Opt-Out Requests: Contact each site and broker individually to request data removal. Remember, you might need to do this repeatedly. 📝🔄
  • Consider Automated Services: If the process feels overwhelming, explore services for automated data removal. 🤖🛡️

In summary, to combat spam calls and messages, take proactive steps to control who has access to your phone number. This involves a mix of personal diligence in managing your online presence and potentially seeking external services for thorough data removal.

Does it feel like your messages app is being overrun by spam? You’re not alone. Spammers sent 1,576,496,425 spam texts per day in November 2022, alone. And this seems to be part of a steady upward trend. Not only is it annoying and inconvenient to receive so many spam messages, but it can also be dangerous. 

A lot of spam messages are actually scams. They can include malicious links that lead to phishing websites or offer too-good-to-be-true offers designed to trick you out of your hard-earned money. In the worst case, these kinds of messages can lead to identity theft and thousands of dollars in losses. In the best case, they interrupt your day and clutter your messaging app. 

Whether you’re an Android or iPhone user, the good news is that you can block spam messages. There are also things you can do to reduce the number of spam texts coming your way in the first place. For example, using data removal services like Incogni but we will add more information about that later on.

How to Stop Spam Messages on iPhone

How to Stop Spam Messages: Tips, Tricks & Best PracticesPin

If you own an iPhone, you can stop spam texts by filtering unknown senders. This setting will filter out messages from anyone who isn’t already saved to your contact list.

These texts will go to a designated folder for filtered messages, which you can still access through your messages app. However, you won’t be able to follow any links unless you add the number to your contacts. 

To filter unknown senders:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Messages.
  3. Turn on Filter Unknown Senders.

You can also turn off the notifications for texts from unknown senders:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Go to Notifications, then Messages, and select Customize Notifications. 
  3. Switch off notifications for Unknown Senders.

Whenever you receive a spam text, you should block the sender. This may not have immediate results, but it will clear up your messages app over time (or at least the unknown senders folder).

To block senders on an iPhone:

  1. Open the Messages app. 
  2. Find the spam message and tap the number or the name at the top center of the conversation.
  3. Tap Info and then Block this Caller.

How to Stop Spam Messages on Android

If you’re using the Messages by Google app, you have the option to filter out spam messages, specifically. While it’s the primary messaging app on most Androids, if your phone doesn’t have it, you can download it to take advantage of this useful feature.

Here’s how to filter spam through the messages app:

  1. Open the Messages app.
  2. Tap More Settings and select Spam protection.
  3. Turn on Enable spam protection. It should already be on by default. 

you can block the sender’s number and never hear from them again. This is particularly useful if you keep getting spam messages from the same number. Here’s how you can block it:

  1. Open the Messages app and find a message from the sender you want to block.
  2. Tap on the three dots at the top-right corner, then tap Details.
  3. Select Block & report spam.
  4. Check the box and tap OK.

How to Prevent Spammers from Getting Your Phone Number

How to Stop Spam Messages: Tips, Tricks & Best PracticesPin

Some spam messages will always still reach you. Whether because they slip through the spam filtering feature or you don’t want to block all unknown senders. The best way to deal with this problem is by cutting spammers off at the source: don’t let them have your phone number. 

This is obviously easier said than done, though. Where do they even find your number and how do you prevent them from doing it? 

First, you should remove your phone number from any online accounts you can. This includes everything from public social media profiles to your online shopping account information. Most online apps and services you use share at least some data with third parties.

Once you’ve done that, remove your personal information from data brokers and people search sites. If your phone number has ever been made public or shared with third parties by any services you use, data brokers definitely have it and are selling it on to marketers, curious individuals, and sometimes even scammers directly.

To remove your personal information from data brokers and people search sites, you should first research which companies have your data. This is easier to do for people search sites. Simply google your name, phone number, or address and a bunch of people search site results will pop up.

Data brokers, on the other hand, usually don’t index their data so they won’t show up in search results. Instead, you should look up which data brokers operate in your area and assume that they all have your information.

Once you have a full list of data brokers and people search sites, start sending out individual opt-out requests to each one. Don’t forget to repeat the process every few months as records have a way of popping back up when these companies refresh their databases. 

If this seems like too much of a hassle (which it deliberately is), you can also try an automated data removal service like Incogni. They handle the entire data removal process on your behalf, saving you hundreds of hours and the headache attached. 

More Tips to Reduce Spam

Here are some final tips to help you reduce the amount of spam you receive and keep you safe from any that slip through:

  • Never interact with spam messages. Doing so will only indicate that your number is active and will only result in more spam. 
  • Report spam. You can copy the spam message and send it to 7726 (SPAM). If you suspect the message to be a scam, you should also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.  
  • Use a spam-blocking app. Reputable spam filtering apps like Nomorobo and RoboKiller can greatly reduce the number of spam messages that reach you. 
  • Use cybersecurity and privacy tools. Keep your antivirus up-to-date and consider using privacy tools and services like a trusted VPN and data removal service. 

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